What follows are directions on how to set up a personal commemoration book for use in one’s private prayers or for commemorations at the liturgy. This is the way I was shown when still a relatively new convert, and it may be of help to others.
Preformatted commemoration books (pomyaniki) are often available in Church book kiosks. One can also use a small spiral notebook or one of those blank books that usually can be found in most bookstores.
At the beginning of each section, draw a cross and below the cross, each section begins with a prayer, and then you list those in that category that you wish to pray for. Leave a healthy amount of blank pages between each section for additions.
1) For the Orthodox living:
For the first section, on the first line beneath the Cross, write the prayer: “Grant, O Lord, health and salvation to Thy servants…” And then list your family members, your Hierarchs, those in your parish, your God-children (if you have any), people who have requested prayers, and then any other Orthodox people you wish to pray for.
2) For the Orthodox Reposed:
Begin with the prayer, “Grant, O Lord, repose with the Saints to Thy servants…”
3) For the Catechumens:
Begin with the prayer, “Grant, O Lord, that Thy holy will be done with thy servants…”
4) For the Non-Orthodox living:
Begin with the prayer, “Grant, O Lord, that thy servants will be illumined with the light of the Orthodox Faith, and numbered with Thy one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church…”
5) For the Non-Orthodox reposed:
Begin with the prayer, “Have mercy, O Lord, if it be possible on the souls of Thy departed servants (names), who have departed into eternal life in separation from Thy Holy Orthodox Church: unsearchable are Thy decrees. Do not account this, my prayer as a sin, but may Thy holy will be done.”
That concludes the format I was taught, but I have added two prayers to the back of my commemoration book from the Old Rite Prayer Book:
Under the heading, “To pray for someone more diligently”:
“Save, O Lord, and have mercy on Thy servant(s)________ [bow], Deliver him (her, them) from every tribulation, wrath and need [bow], From every sickness of soul and body [bow], Forgive him (her, them) every transgression, voluntary and involuntary [bow], And do whatever is profitable for our souls [bow].”
If you wish to pray more diligently for someone who is departed, say this Troparion:
“Grant rest, O Lord, to the soul(s) of Thy departed servant(s) (name(s)). [bow] Forgive and have mercy on him (her, them), for whatever sins he (she) hath (or: they have) humanly committed, as Thou art a God who loveth mankind. [bow] And deliver him (her, them) from eternal torment. [bow] Make him (her, them) a sharer(s) of the Kingdom of heaven. [bow] And do whatever is profitable for our souls. [bow]”